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  1. #1

    Going Solar, Alternative Investment Going Solar, Alternative Investment

    Due to the yearly drop in solar installation cost, I am thinking that going solar maybe a good alternative investment that can yield me a 5% return.

    Currently, a 45k system can offset about 250 dollars/month in electricity (3k/year).

    This 45k system comes with a 30% federal tax rebate, so total out of pocket will cost me 31.5k. At 3k/year of electric bill saved, I should expect to have my money paid back in 10 years. After 10 years, it's a 10% return/year. So this looks to be a 5% return for me over 20 years, or 7.5% return over 30 years.

    Of course the solar cells lose efficiency over time, 10%/20 years so that can eat into my returns.

    What do you guys think? Is going solar worth it at current prices?

  2. #2
    at least you live in florida so you'll get enough sun to make energy.

  3. #3
    If you in fact live in Florida, another factor is to ensure that your home insurance will cover the solar panels on the event of a hurricane damaging them. Also, the high humidity there will reduce the efficiency of the panels, due to higher cloud coverage & atmospheric haze, plus rainy days will obviously produce less energy, and the rain will also leave residual dirt & such after it dries, so they'll have to be cleaned periodically. Solar panels, in general, are more efficient in dry locations. Not to dissuade you, but want to make sure you're aware.

    With that said, if the numbers are in fact as good as you state, it doesn't seem like a bad option. Biggest question is total lifetime. Will they last 10, 20, 30 years? The longer they last beyond the break even on point, the more "worth it" they'll be.

    Last note... There is a non-financial side to this... If you're interested in reducing your carbon footprint for environmental reasons, that would reasonably be a justification aside from the finances of it.

  4. #4
    Be careful and do the math.
    I got a quote for a systems a couple years ago and it was a very long term 20+ year payoff. Pretty silly to make such an investment considering my electric bill only runs about $250 per month.

  5. #5
    From a strictly financial standpoint (carbon footprint aside), I don't think I would "invest" 32K in something that won't generate any return for at least 10 years.



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